Archery season opened this week in Alabama. While many hunters use compound bows, others prefer a crossbow. We checked in with Ben Selman of Ben Pearson Archery to get some tips for using this particular weapon.
Gary Finch: Ben, tell me a little bit about whether you are a first-time crossbow hunter or you’ve had one for several years, what are the main things that you really need to look at?
Ben: Well, the biggest thing is you know, this is a weapon, it’s definitely not a toy. You have to be safe with it and you also, you know, want to understand you’re effective range. You want to understand that this is not a rifle, it’s not good for great distances that people are kind of assuming nowadays.
The first thing they need to do is look over their owner’s manual and really understand their crossbow. You have a sting path. The string will come back to a little bit further than the string is now you don’t want your hand at any point or your fingers or anything, you want it to have a clear, safe path. That’s also, you know, you’re tree stand, you want to make sure no branches or anything is in the path of the string.
But you do want to check every time that you shoot an arrow you want to flex it. And the reason you want to flex it is if you shoot it or especially if you shoot a grouping, you shoot through an animal or you miss or you hit something, it’s possible for the carbon to become fractured. If there was an exposed crack at that point you know I’d either fill that crack its break in my hand which it’s a lot better breaking in your hand than theoretically breaking in your crossbow causing you to dry-fire your crossbow.
Gary: Fantastic. Ben, thanks a bunch. Folks you know, just like Ben said, whether you are a first-time crossbow hunter or you are a veteran for the last three or four years, make sure you get your manual out, read it, understand it before you get out in the woods.